UPDATED: Chris Meagher is at the corner of Cold Spring Road and Sycamore Canyon, at the staging area for firefighters. He reports that there are 15 engines on scene. He said cars are everywhere. “I’ve never seen this many cars in Montecito before.” He also reports that the weather is “unbelievably windy” and “howling.” However, the wind is blowing away from Santa Barbara at the moment.
According to an interview with County Supervisor Salud Carbajal on KEYT, the fire is now at about 20 acres.
People living at Westmont College are congregating at the gym in an apparent preparation to evacuate.
There are few details at the moment, but a three- to five-acre fire has been reported in Sycamore Canyon, on North Las Alturas Road. Winds are picking up and fire crews are responding. The fire is visible from throughout downtown Santa Barbara. KEYT has just announced that people living north of Mountain Drive or Cold Spring should evacuate now. There has been no official announcement from fire officials yet, but KEYT is advising people who feel they are threatened to gather their family and prepare to evacuate now.
Winds are currently estimated at 50 to 60 miles per hour, especially at the center of the fire. Also, the winds are reportedly hot and dry, and therefore not helping firefighting efforts. Humidity is expected to drop.
The fire department is advising “lookie-loos” to not block roadways. Do not drive toward the fire.
Independent.com will be updated as more information becomes available.